Using soft OR principles for collaborative simulation: a case study in the Dutch airline industry

M. Den Hengst, G. J. De Vreede, R. Maghnouji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Collaborative simulation is a method to handle problem situations that are technologically and socially complex. It combines discrete event simulation with methods, techniques and tools designed to help groups progress with their problems. Discrete event simulation and group support both appear to have clear promises in embedding soft OR principles, yet also contain limitations. Furthermore, simulation and group support appear to be complementary, balancing each other's limitations. Therefore, the combination of group support and discrete event simulation seems to be a fruitful vehicle for the application of soft OR principles. Through experiences in a case study at the cargo department of a major airline, we examine how collaborative simulation can be applied in practice as problem structuring method. We conclude that collaborative simulation has definite potential as a soft OR technique, but further research is required to speed up different steps of simulation to fully use simulation in interactive decision making sessions with multiple stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-682
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Group decision support (DN)
  • Problem structuring (SO)
  • Simulation (SI)
  • Soft OR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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